So, I have become infuriated by the number of 'how to get a bikini/summer body' adverts that keep popping up everywhere. This happens every year. Along with the 'how to lose X weight in X weeks' adverts I find them kind of triggering. It's taken me years to be able to gain weight in the first place without having some kind of horrific melt down. Now that I have gained weight, it takes a lot of will power not to turn to unhealthy habits to get rid of it all again.
Learning to love your body shouldn't be a difficult thing, but it is for me and many other people out there. We are constantly bombarded with the message that our bodies should look a certain way. Hey, for that matter we're also sent the message that our bodies should be able to do certain things, yay for disablism. That's a whole separate post though. It's not exactly news that I don't like my body, but that's something I really want to change.
Lately, I've come across this awesome blog. It's pretty inspirational. I want to feel that confident and happy in my self and my body, I want to be able to wear the clothes I like and go outside without living in constant fear of what other people think. Without worrying if I'm pretty enough or slim enough to look 'right' in them. I'm not there yet, but I'm pleased to report that I'm making progress.
Guilty confession time, I used to visit pro-ana websites and chat rooms when I was really ill. Until recently, I still had a folder of 'thinspiration' pictures to remind me what I thought I should look like. Part of my progress has been in deleting that folder and looking around the web for more positive ideals and role models. Given that I fully support the idea of health at every size, and given that I have found any number of women of all different shapes and sizes attractive it's time to start applying those beliefs to me.
So, here's my plan for summer preparation. I am going to formulate a new exercise regime. Which is a tricky one for me as in the past I've tended to over do it. However this time my focus is going to be different. I won't be exercising to make myself lose weight. No, instead I am going to be concentrating on making my body more able to do the stuff I want it to. Regular exercise, coupled with food will mean I can do more awesome stuff without become exhausted. Like dancing for longer when I go out, spending the whole day outside in the sun with my friends. That's the goal here.
Next, I am going to dare myself to do a few things. I want to leave the house without covering up my upper arms. Sounds simple but it won't be. Given how anxious I get leaving the house at the best of times leaving it with one of my 'problem' areas exposed is not going to be fun. But, if I can do it once and realise that I'm more comfortable physically, maybe I can do it again. And maybe by doing it over and over I can learn to stop worrying about doing it. That's the plan anyway.
Finally, I am going to enjoy the sun. I love the sun and here in the UK we just don't see enough of it. Sunshine makes me happy, which is a huge incentive to get out into it. A really sunny day is often enough to make me brave the outside world. So, I'm going to use that to my advantage and get myself outside, in summery clothes despite the anxiety.
With luck, by the end of the summer I'll have taken some huge steps towards feeling comfortable in my own skin.